Coping with Homesickness

img FCM Providence Counseling Center 170x150College can be a life-changing experience. Adjustment challenges and feelings of homesickness are common. At JWU's Student Counseling Center, we want you to know that you’re not alone. Homesickness is universal. Here are ten strategies to help you work through it.

1. Homesickness is a natural response to being away from home for the first time. Do not avoid your feelings. Start by acknowledging that you are struggling with it.

2. Make it a priority to talk with others. Try to place yourself in situations to meet new friends. Remember that other people may be going through similar experiences.

3. Familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Get to know your campus and the city.

4. Remember to eat and sleep. This is a key component to physical and emotional well being. Avoid excessive partying.

5. Attend class and establish a routine. Structure helps balance your day. If you’re concerned about your academic performance, don’t wait! Talk with a professor or visit the Center for Academic Support.

6. Seek out new experiences. For instance, Student Activities sponsors all kinds of events throughout the year, many of them free (like the film screenings at Harborside Recreation Center every Thursday night). Better still, they oversee more than 90 clubs and organizations on campus.

To learn more, stop by their Downcity office, located in the Citizens Bank Center for Student Involvement (CBCSI), 598-1195. Their satellite office is located in the Harborside Recreation Center, 598-4668.

7. Exercise! Did you know JWU has two fully-equipped fitness centers? The Harborside Recreation Center offers a full schedule of fitness classes and intramurals; call 598-1612 for more info. The Downcity Fitness Center, located in the basement of Wales Hall, features a wide range of exercise machines, including stairmasters, biocycles, rowing machines, free weights, pyramid and nautilus; for hours, call 401-598-1624.

8. Challenge your negative thinking and examine your expectations. Give yourself time to get settled. It is important to make an informed, rather than impulsive, choice.

9. Don’t return home every weekend. Plan a date to go home after some time has elapsed. This will help you make a successful adjustment.

10. Remind yourself why you are here. Take care of yourself. Laugh! 

The feelings of homesickness most often improve over time. However, if you find the intensity of it persists to the degree that it is impeding academic performance and social functioning, you may want to consider talking to a counselor at the Student Counseling Center. To make an appointment, call 598-1016.